By Duroyan Fertl, 11 August 2020:
Europe’s most powerful nation is experiencing a worrying growth in far-right extremism, violence and killings — including infiltration of the government, army and police, reports DUROYAN FERTL in the first of a two-part series
SOON after the government announced dramatic steps to combat far-right extremism in the military, it emerged that a new wave of neonazi death threats have been sent to left-wing politicians and public figures. After turning a blind eye to the neo-fascist threat for years, authorities are now finding its tentacles spread throughout Germany’s security apparatus and society.
On July 9, Germany’s annual report on domestic extremism showed a sharp increase in far-right extremism in 2019 — 32,080 known individuals, up from 24,100, and 13,000 of them prepared to use violence. Christian Democrat (CDU) Interior Minister Horst Seehofer — who infamously celebrated the deportation of 69 asylum-seekers on his 69th birthday and asserted “there is no place for Islam in Germany” — suddenly declared right-wing extremism the biggest threat to Germany’s security. This was a clear departure from previous years, where conservative rhetoric had focused on the dangers of Islamism and “left-wing extremism”.
After years of government indifference, the far-right has been growing rapidly in Germany, with often deadly consequences. Interior Ministry figures record 986 acts of attempted or perpetrated far-right violence in 2019, over 600 targeted at elected politicians.